“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

     Summer in America is known for backyard barbeques, splashing around in the pool, and, among other things, mowing the lawn. I’ll admit that mowing the lawn is not as fun as the first two.

     A few years ago, in my younger years, I had an idea that I acted on. I thought because I did not have the time to go to the gym every day to work out and I did not have a job that involved a lot of physical labor, it might be helpful to get a push mower rather than a self-propelled mower for physical activity. For those readers who aren’t as familiar with these two types of mowers, please let me explain.

     A push mower is one that you stand behind, grab the handle near the height of your waist and after pulling the string to engage the engine, you begin to use your own strength to push it up and down the yard until you have finished. From my experience, if I waited too long and the grass got too high, then I had to exert much more strength pushing the mower around the yard; or, if it was extremely hot, then I also did not have as much energy and strength. However, some of this may be due to the fact that I am in my 5th decade of life!

     On the other hand, a self-propelled mower is also one you stand behind and you also grab the handle and pull the string to engage the engine. The big difference in the self-propelled mower is that there is another handle you can engage on one side of the mower’s main handle. This special handle causes the front wheels to rotate. This “propels” the entire mower forward with little to no energy exerted from the person standing behind it.

     Now back to my personal mower experience. Yes, a few years ago I purchased a push mower, but in the last couple years it has become much more difficult to push the mower around the yard. Therefore, I went out and purchased a self-propelled mower. I must admit, I enjoyed that first mow!

     This mowing experience caused me to think that, in some way, the Christian life is like living either with a push mower or a self-propelled mower. If we are a follower of Jesus, the Bible tells us we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us to give us strength and power to live the Christian life. The Spirit actually lives the life of Jesus through us. However, we must engage and yield to the Spirit’s control for this to happen.

     Many of us, often times, try and live the Christian life apart from the Spirit. This is like using a push mower. We live life using our own strength and wisdom and it can be exhausting! Instead, God wants us to live “propelled” by the Spirit. Engage with the Spirit through prayer and trust and, like the motor on a self-propelled mower, allow the Holy Spirit to live His life through you. You’ll experience so much more peace, grace and freedom.